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Spain approves Eurodrone participation

A scale model of the Eurodrone in Luftwaffe markings was shown at the Berlin Security Conference in November 2021. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)

Spain has formally approved its participation in the Eurodrone project, joining partners France, Germany, and Italy, which have already signed off on their involvement in developing the European unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

The Spanish Council of Ministers gave its consent to the country's inclusion in the Eurodrone project, also known as the European Medium-Altitude Long-Endurance (MALE) Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) and/or the EuroMALE, on 25 January.

β€œThe Council of Ministers has approved an agreement authorising the acquisition of expenditure commitments charged to future years […] so that the Ministry of Defence [MoD] can carry out carried out the development, production, and support for the entry into service, as well as the logistical support of the EuroMALE RPAS programme,” the council said.

Spain is a 23% partner in the programme, with an industrial return to date estimated to reach a minimum of 19%. The Council of Ministers has approved an MoD spend of EUR1.7 billion (USD1.9 billion) for the programme to cover development and the first five years of entry into service out to the end of 2035. The MoD will provide a further EUR150.5 million to cover convergence and harmonisation between industry and the nations. The Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and Tourism will also partially finance the programme between 2022 and 2028 to an amount of EUR1.4 billion.

This Spanish agreement now paves the way for a development contract to be issued through the Organisation for Joint Armament Co-operation (OCCAR).

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